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Reaching the Underbanked: 1st ‘Juntos Avanzamos’ Chapter Launched

Inclusiv Network — in partnership with the National Association of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals (NLCUP) and the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues — has launched the first-ever Juntos Avanzamos-NLCUP Regional Chapter in California, which is designed for industry professionals who are committed to financial inclusion to remove barriers and enact real change for unbanked and underbanked communities.

“We are excited to launch this new initiative designed for credit union professionals who are committed to financial inclusion and want to work collectively to remove barriers and enact real change for the millions of people who are unbanked or underbanked,” said Pablo DeFilippi, executive vice president of Inclusiv. “This is the first of many Juntos Avanzamos-NLCUP Regional Chapters we will be announcing in the coming months. We are grateful to NLCUP and the Leagues for their support, and we look forward to working closer together on this and other initiatives.”

This first Juntos Avanzamos-NLCUP Regional Chapter is being announced as a response to increasing demand for creating local networks where credit union professionals can work together, share knowledge, collaborate, and develop solutions on local and national issues related to the financial inclusion of Hispanic and Latino communities.

As a long-term local supporter and liaison of Juntos Avanzamos (“Together We Advance”) credit unions, the Leagues will engage other state credit union associations that are looking to facilitate similar efforts to support and foster newly developed Juntos Avanzamos-NLCUP Regional Chapters. The Leagues, in conjunction with Inclusiv Network, helped design the guiding framework for these chapters, which outlines the interest of state-level credit union association involvement regarding creating future chapters. Inclusiv Network was founded by Inclusiv, the only national association representing Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)-certified credit unions and minority designated credit unions.

Juntos Avanzamos is a designation for credit unions committed to serving and empowering Hispanic and immigrant consumers, helping them navigate the U.S. financial system and providing safe, affordable and relevant financial services. Juntos Avanzamos credit unions employ bilingual, culturally-competent staff and leadership, and they accept alternative forms of identification. There are 128 credit unions in 28 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia that are designated as Juntos Avanzamos credit unions.

“Empowered by these Juntos Avanzamos-NLCUP Regional Chapters, the Leagues look forward to what Juntos Avanzamos credit unions can continue accomplishing in Hispanic and Latino immigrant communities across California and Nevada,” said Larry Palochik, executive vice president of the Leagues. “We will continue developing more connections between Juntos Avanzamos credit unions and others that are exploring this unique avenue of service and philosophy within their local Hispanic and Latino communities and neighborhoods.”

Daniel West, vice president of social impact for the Leagues, said the establishment of Juntos Avanzamos-NLCUP Regional Chapters will help leverage the collective voice of credit unions to implement real change in the way Hispanic and Latino communities access and stay connected to the U.S. banking system.

“We commend Inclusiv and the NLCUP for their engagement and work in helping us grow this brand within our state footprint,” West said. “We now have 16 Juntos Avanzamos credit unions across California, representing 1.4 million consumers and $27.8 billion in assets. We hope to see credit union associations from other states step up to partner with the Inclusiv Network to establish their own Juntos Avanzamos-NLCUP Regional Chapters in the coming months. We are grateful for the support of Inclusiv and the NLCUP, and we look forward to working closer on this and other initiatives.”

California happens to be the second largest state for Juntos Avanzamos-based credit unions in the United States.

Going forward, the Inclusiv Network collaboration will work together to promote membership of credit union professionals in Juntos Avanzamos-NLCUP Regional Chapters and provide tools and resources for League members so they can actively participate in chapter activities and initiatives. To join the chapter, credit union professionals must share a commitment to the financial inclusion of Hispanic and Latino communities and share the values of the Juntos Avanzamos and NLCUP framework.

NLCUP is dedicated to providing financial education and services, as well as increasing economic, asset-building, and professional development opportunities.

“I am really excited to see this come to fruition and witness the impact of this project,” said Barbara Mojica, executive director for NLCUP. “For some of us Latinx individuals, this might be the only safe space we have — within the credit union movement. I cannot wait to see how many individuals flourish because of what NLCUP and Juntos Avanzamos are creating.”

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